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Just Say No

In all the confusion, there’s something serene
I’m just a posthumous part of the scene
Now I’m floating above looking in
As the radio blares and wheels spin
I can see my face slump with a grin
And you…you’re the last thing on my mind

Tonight Is The Night I Fell Asleep At The Wheel – Barenaked Ladies

Over the last few months, I have worn myself dangerously thin. I cowardly backed myself into a corner by saying yes to people when I wanted to say no. I agreed when I didn’t want to. I let them belittle me when I should have stood up to them. I let them project their negative emotions onto me as if I was the one who created them. I accepted their “excuses” (never an apology) for their wrongdoings towards me. So on and so on.

Why do I allow this to happen?

Because I don’t want to hurt their feelings.

There are only so many times when a person can put their needs last and in recognizing this, I knew that I had to turn away from the train wreck(s) before I exploded. I did but not completely. Where I perceived this as a flexible boundary, they saw it as the Berlin wall and made me feel like the world’s biggest asshole.

Day in and day out, all that I think about is how in the world do I make this right?

I shouldn’t have to.

I’m beyond overwhelmed and the other day Shawn lovingly told me:

“You’re f*cking nuts. Let’s get ice cream.”

And surprisingly, that makes life better.

So what broke through the chaos and made me smile this week:

  1. Volunteering for this shit show, but seeing my kid smile. Worth it. fit a thon19.jpg
  2. Golden Oreos because screw you chocolate.
  3. Naps.
  4. Rain because I am hoping that the massive trench my kid dug in my garden will flood and turn into the beginning of a pond. I’ve always wanted one in the backyard.

    Say buh-bye to my daisies
    Say buh-bye to my daisies
  5. That one day when I was able to wear a short sleeved shirt.
  6. Deodorant for that one day when I was wearing that short sleeved shirt.
  7. Laughing along with Chunky as we looked at his old baby pictures. This one in particular.

    Circa 2009 : The night before his first hair cut
    Circa 2009 : The night before his first hair cut
  8. Slow cooker because the people who installed our kitchen cupboards installed the wrong ones.
  9. May 2-4 weekend and family BBQs.
  10. Shawn for keeping it real.

peoplepleaser

 

How do you set boundaries?

Did people respect them?

Do you always say yes when you want to say no?

Do you always say yes because you’re afraid of hurting people’s feelings?

Do you feel guilty when you do say no?

 

Ten Things of Thankful

35 Comments

  1. I was going to write here that I don’t have any boundaries in my life, but then I realized today is my bio dad’s birthday. I will not be calling him. Our interactions have always been complicated and creepy. A couple years ago was the last straw. I no longer contact him, nor does he contact me, ever.

    Do I ever say yes when I should say no. I need to protect some specific time in my life since I added homeschooling to the mix. But someone kept asking over and over til I gave in. And I resented it with every fiber of my being. I finally had to back out for my mental health. I feel guilty every single Wednesday.

    I’m proud of you for setting those boundaries.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Charity, OH the resentment will eat you whole like it is doing to me now. I knew that if I didn’t step back, I was going to snap and ruin the relationship.

  2. I believe that the skill of saying no is something we all have to learn the hard way. We start saying yes because we genuinely want to help. Then more and more is asked of us, and we continue to say yes, not because we want to but because we feel we should. And then we become angry and bitter and frustrated. It makes it a whole lot easier to say no if you keep this fact in mind: Every time I say yes to some random person asking me to do something I don’t want to do, I have to say no to someone I love dearly. I’d rather say no to some random person asking me to work on some project than say no to my kids when they ask me to play a game, just so I can work on some project I don’t want to work on anyway. I have no guilt whatsoever.
    People always respect my boundaries, even if they don’t like them. I have been told I’m a bit intimidating. 🙂

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @christine, Whoa…you just put this whole thing into perspective. And you’re right in that I feel that I have to and I genuinely want to because that is who I am. I would hope that when I needed something that they too would help (but that always isn’t the case). I definitely need to work on the no and I know that it will take a lot of time. Intimidating? Never.

  3. I don’t really struggle with boundaries because nobody really asks me to do things. Which might be a sign of a different problem. And that group photo of all the kids is the cutest thing ever.

  4. I’m getting better at saying no. But it took a long time.I still have a problem with taking on too much, but only when I get too excited about things and forget I need to sleep sometimes too. I am really good at saying no otherwise. I’m big into self-protection these days.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Deborah / Mom2Michael, Oh sleep…who needs it when you have coffee and kids.
      I’m glad that you can say no and I like that term “self-protection”. I need to add that into my life. xo

  5. I’m beyond horrible. I am an extreme people pleaser. It’s horrible. I’ve been called out on it. I can’t control it.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Jess, I’ve been called out on it too. By Shawn mostly. He was getting royally pissed off and when it started to affect us, it was time to put my foot semi down…then I turned into an asshole. Meh.
      PS. I got your card. So…I truly am an asshole for not thanking you.

      • @Kimberly, You totally aren’t. And also, I”m sorry you’re sorry. ;-p

        Seriously, I can’t stop. Hello feeding the anxiety!

  6. Kim Kim

    Several years ago I had finally gotten to the point in my life where I only said “yes” to things I really wanted to do. And, then about a year ago I agreed to one thing that I very much did not want to do and that created a snowball – I’ve got to start eliminating the things that only cause stress and so do you!!!

  7. I set boundaries by avoiding contact with most other humans, not answering calls or texts or emails, etc………..
    It’s hard to say No but SO easy to ignore people.
    =D

  8. Yes to this! That is totally me. But I am learning, too. We can do it. Just say no!

  9. I’m getting better at saying no….but it has taken me nearly 70 years to get there!

  10. There is so much in this post that I can relate to. (Right down to the golden Oreos and my one day in a short sleeved shirt this week.) I’ve always had a problem with saying no and it drives my poor hubby nuts. I’ve been trying to come to terms lately with learning to say “yes” to offers of help as well. Yes and no can be equally difficult. I hate hurting people’s feelings and I don’t want to let anybody down. Thanks for a great post.

  11. I suck with boundaries. I spent my childhood and teenagerhood at home, being bullied, thinking I wasn’t capable of running away – assuming I didn’t deserve better. I spent my school life bullied and victimised and rarely standing up for myself until I snapped. And then I got the respect afforded a vicious, crazy dog. For about half a week. I spent nine years in a horrendously exploitive job, thinking it was my fault the team weren’t motivated and that I had to stay til 9 to get paperwork done because it was my poor time management which had let it get that way.

    But I’m learning.

    I love your list. Your husband rocks. And you, I kinda also love too 🙂 I’m glad I know you, and that ice-cream made it better. And listen to Christine – she speaks a LOT of good sense. Often.

  12. Is that the song on “Maroon” in which if you keep it going, a secret bonus track starts? I love that secret bonus track. It’s..incredibly dreamy.
    I’ve been saying no lately, here and there. More like adding it to my repertoire because it does matter and it does not mean I’ll never say “yes” again.

  13. I’m finding it easier to say no at times, but it depends on the person asking for something. I don’t like disappointing people but I’m getting better at knowing my limits. I’m thankful too that my husband is the one who sometimes has to say the fuck is wrong with you; didn’t you just say you didn’t want to do anything this weekend? I get irritable and stabby and take it out on the people closest to me so my family always considers me angry. I’m always angry. So then I sneak Pepsi in corners and get angrier when one of them happens upon me and asks for some because no, it’s bad for you, DON’T DO WHAT I DO.

  14. Trust me when I say sadly I can relate and I have started to realize I do sometimes just have to say “No” and consequences be damned. Seriously, I do find myself saying “Yes” when I should be saying “No” and slowly I am learning to just screw and finally indeed say those two letters better now. And that flashback picture priceless and we too have a few of these in our arsenal,too 🙂

  15. It’s good you realize you spread yourself too thin, hopefully you won’t let that happen in the future. I find that LYING works really well. I have 3 kids so I can always think of SOMETHING that we all have to do, as a unified family, to get out of whatever it is. It looks like that day was fun though, those kids are not fake smiling, those are REAL in that picture!
    Speaking of pictures, that cutie in the tub is ADORABLE!
    Great list. I remember that ONE DAY when it was warm. Ah, that was the good ole day, wasn’t it? Now we’re having winter again in the Midwest, Friday we had snow. Gotta love it!

  16. I have a hard time saying no too and sometimes it gets to be too much. It’s gotten easier since I started working. People seem to be able to cut you more slack knowing you are at work all day – it’s strange, really because you are no less busy as a stay at home mom… People are weird!!! 🙂

  17. I was such a people pleaser in my first ever job and I hated my life. I’m no better at saying no now, but it doesn’t seem to matter as much. At least for right now. Thank goodness. And thank goodness for naps. And ice cream!

  18. The picture of the baby is hilarious AND adorable.

    …Well, I am quite good at saying ‘no’ to what I don’t want to do, though I must have hurt many people’s feelings by doing so…

  19. I used to have a hard time saying no. Just believe me when I tell you that it gets easier ever single time you say it. It is now one of my all time favorite words. I don’t abuse it but I do use it. Don’t let anyone make you feel like an asshole because you are most certainly not one. People get glad in the same britches they get mad in so just do the right thing (for you and your well being) and let them get over it. They will. Trust me. Until then, my fellow Golden Oreo lover, keep that awesome ice cream buying husband and keep encouraging the kids to dig you that outdoor pond….and smile 🙂

  20. yeah that damn boundary thing! (on the plus side, that speaks to having a predominate (or at very least a strong secondary) clarklike aspect!) …er, the Doctrine, ya know.

    I loved Christine’s Comment (above)… and the others, I liked them too, and no there is not a bad comment here among all of them and I totally agree with everyone who have written.

    (this is partially Lizzi’s fault, this Comment).

    lol

    serially, good Post!

  21. I used to say yes to everything that came along. Now I follow Cyndy’s methods; you can’t get me to do something if you can’t FIND me! And I can be very, very elusive when I need to be!

  22. Your first couple paragraphs sound like my last few months – stretched too thin; trying to make it all work; please everyone; and somehow still don’t manage to get it all done or please people.

    Yeah – I need a re-focus on that front as well and think about how to be true to myself and what is most important to myself. Because I can’t do it all. And I shouldn’t have to.

    I hope things improve on your end. Yay to ice cream and the other goods in life at the moment. I may “borrow” your e-card or a future post 🙂

  23. I love that photo of Chunky.
    I’ve learned to say ‘no’ more now. Because there are more important ‘yeses’ in my life.

  24. setting boundaries can be incredibly hard. I get it.
    AND?
    Thank you for wearing deodarant.

  25. It’s hard for me to say no. It’s also hard for me to say yes. I’m so indecisive that things usually just happen without me.

    I just avoid making decisions. Unless it’s important, then I participate at the last possible minute.

    But also, when I start to feel like I’m being “used” in any way? Look. Out.

  26. I think that it sounds like you picked the right husband to ride this rollercoaster in a shit-storm with you.

    I vote Yes to having boundaries. and Yes to enjoying your boy. and Yes to enjoying all 5 tshirt weather days this year.

    Take care of YOU because Chunky needs YOU while he grows and he is the most important person now. Putting your self care first, means putting Chunky first. If anyone wants you to put their needs before his, feel free to send them to me and I’ll show them where they can put their precious needs!

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